Women's Basketball Rallies to Defeat Smith, 48-45, on Senior Day

Seniors Sabrina Drammis and Maya Ramachandran
Seniors Sabrina Drammis and Maya Ramachandran

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A jumper by senior Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) with 37 seconds on the clock and then a pair of free throws by junior Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) helped MIT complete a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Smith College, 48-45, in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Saturday. Drammis led all players with 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Engineers (15-6, 10-3 NEWMAC) while freshman Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga.) paced the Pioneers (7-14, 4-9) with 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

MIT jumped out to a 10-3 lead at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter. Smith freshman Erin Hanley (San Francisco, Calif.) buried a jumper moments later, setting off an exchange of baskets down the stretch as another Hanley shot right before time expired narrowed the gap to 12-7.

The back-and-forth scoring continued into the second stanza with freshman Taylor V'Dovec's (Blaine, Wash.) jumper moving the score to 16-9 in favor of the Engineers with 5:59 remaining. A put-back by Guest-Pritchett 90 seconds later sparked a 10-4 spurt that was capped by freshman Lauren Bondi's (Burnaby, British Columbia) jumper at the buzzer, sending the Pioneers into halftime trailing by one (20-19).

The third quarter was a tight affair as it featured four ties and five lead changes, including Guest-Pritchett's layup that gave the visitors a 33-32 edge at the end of the frame.

Smith carried the momentum into the fourth quarter as a three-pointer from sophomore Samantha Alakai (Pukalani, Hawaii) and another Guest-Pritchett put-back gave the Pioneers their largest lead of the day (38-32) with 6:32 left to play. MIT responded with a layup from senior Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) and a pair of jumpers by freshman Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.), tying the game with 4:02 to go.

Smith countered with a layup by sophomore Paige Marquez (San Francisco, Calif.), creating another exchange of baskets until two free throws from freshman Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) and a Drammis jumper put the Engineers back in front (44-42) at the 1:56 mark. Bondi quickly buried a three-pointer during the Pioneers' ensuing possession but Drammis drained the go-ahead jumper with 37 seconds remaining.

Marquez almost caused the 10th lead change of the game, but her jumper with three seconds to go hit the side of the rim and was collected by Drammis. A pair of Smith fouls put Ilutzi on the charity stripe where she sank both shots with 2.8 seconds left. The Pioneers nearly sent the game into overtime on the final play of the game; however, Alakai's three-point attempt was off the mark.

Ngan tallied nine points, three assists, and two steals as Ilutzi posted eight points and three assists. Holinski and Ramachandran both recorded six rebounds while Holinski grabbed three steals.

Alakai contributed nine points and two assists coming off the bench as Bondi finished with eight points and two assists. Sophomore Amanda Barriscale (Mill Valley, Calif.) hauled in a game-high 11 boards while freshman Katy McClellan (Palmyra, Pa.) chipped in three steals.

Both squads face non-conference foes in their next outings on Tuesday, Feb. 9. MIT will host local rival Simmons College while Smith will travel to Trinity College.